Women In Neo-Classical Work As Opposed To Romantic Works

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Women in Neo-classical work as opposed to Romantic works


Characterized by freedom of the mind and an idealistic view of human nature, Romanticism slowly crept out of Neoclassicism to become one of the most influential periods of British literature. It is the emergence of this new literary period called Romanticism that stirred an interest in those who were hungry for a new form of writing and thought.(Landow,37) This idea, although relatively short-lived and lasting only from 1798-1832, had enormous effects on the philosophy and literature of the time while leaving its mark on the history of England.


This was a turbulent period, during which England experienced the ordeal of change from a primarily agricultural society, where wealth and power had been concentrated in the landholding aristocracy, to a modern industrial nation, in which the balance of economic power shifted to large-scale employers, who found themselves ranged against an immensely enlarging and increasingly restive working class.(Abrams,202)

A discussion of the period is also somewhat more complicated, since there was a "second generation" of Romantics (made up of poets Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and John Keats). Of course, the main members of this second generation--though geniuses--died young and were outlived by the first generation of Romantics. Of course, Mary Shelley--still famous for <>Frankenstein" (1818)--was also a member of this "second generation" of Romantics.

While there is some disagreement about when the period began, the general consensus is... the Romantic period ended with the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837, and the beginning of the Victorian Period. So, here we are in the Romantic era. We stumble upon Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats on the heels of the Neoclassical era. We saw amazing wit and satire (with Pope and Swift) as a part of the last age, but the Romantic Period dawned with a different poetic in the air.

In the backdrop of those new Romantic writers, penning their way into literary history, we are on the cusp the Industrial Revolution and writers were affected by the French Revolution. William Hazlit, who published a book called "The Spirit of the Age," says that the Wordsworth school of poetry "had its origin in the French Revolution... It was a time of promise, a renewal of the world — and of letters."(Rasnake,24)Instead of embracing politics as writers of some other eras might have (and indeed some writers of the Romantic era did) the Romantics turned to Nature for self-fulfillment. They were turning away from the values and ideas of the previous era, embracing new ways of expressing their imagination and feelings. Instead of a concentration on "head," the intellectual focus of reason, they preferred to rely on the self, in the radical idea of individual freedom. Instead of striving for perfection, the Romantics preferred "the glory of the imperfect."

The 18th century interest in sentiment and emotion led to an interest in extremes of sensibility in the romantic art of the following century.(Landow,37) Classicism and Neoclassicism, in the arts, historical tradition or aesthetic attitudes based on the art of Greece and Rome ...
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